MP3, which is the most popular and widely-used digital audio format, is apparently on its way out. According to Fraunhofer Society, the German research organization that invented and patented the format in the late 1980s, there are now better and less space-consuming codes such as AAC available for use, and this has led to a decrease in MP3’s popularity.The suggestion came last month, when Fraunhofer IIS announced that it won’t be licensing the use of MP3 as some of its related patents were terminated. This means that the format can now be used royalty-free. “On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s MP3 licensing program for certain MP3 related patents, and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated. We thank all of our licensees for their great support in making MP3 the de-facto audio codec in the world during the past two decades,” reads the company’s post on its official website.he post further adds, “Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, MP3 is still very popular amongst consumers. However, most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family or in future, MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to MP3.”MP3 is still a widely used format and will continue to do so in future. The termination of licensing may not bring any radical change in the audio industry as most services have now shifted to other codecs. MP3, which rose to fame in the 1990s, was developed by Fraunhofer IIS along with the University Erlangen-Nuremberg. The company has also patented AAC, the so-called successor of the MP3 format. It’s widely used by services like iTunes, YouTube and more.
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